We have all had some kind of skin trouble: a rash, an allergy, a breakout. It happens when our skin comes in contact with anything new – a soap or cream, a new substance;and then the skin turns red and irritated. This condition that occurs when foreign substances touch your skin causing it to itch is called contact dermatitis.The known reactions of contact dermatitis are not too severe, but they are bothersome until the itching reduces.The 2 prime types of contact dermatitis are allergic contact dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis.
Allergic contact dermatitis is when your skin develops an allergic reaction after exposure to a new, strange substance. The body then releasesinflammatory chemicals making your skin scratchy. Contact with jewellery, perfumes, cosmetics or skincare products, poisonous plants like ivy, latex etc.are some causes.
When your skin comes into contact with a toxic material causing a reaction, the condition is called irritant contact dermatitis. The American Academy of Dermatology reports it as the most common type of contact dermatitis. These include substances like bleach, battery acid,cleaning liquids, kerosene,detergents and the like.
In addition to the toxic substances, irritant contact dermatitis can occur when the skin comes in touch with materials like water or even soap, too frequently. This condition is given the name ‘hand eczema’. Hairdressers, sanitation/healthcare workers and those whose hands are over-exposed to water often, experience irritant contact dermatitis.
The symptoms of allergic contact dermatitis include scaly, flaky, dry, inflamed skin,blisters, redness, itching, swelling,sun sensitivity; especially in the eyes, face, or groin areas.
If you have these symptoms, do not scratch your skin as this will make it worse or even cause a skin infection and gently clean your skin with lukewarm water and soap. You could use a calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream to soothe the area.
Most cases of contact dermatitis will fade on their own, but you must seek medical attention if the rash is close to your eyes or mouth, or spreading to other areas of your body.A specialist will perform a ‘patch test’ to determine the cause of your contact dermatitis.
Contact the experts at the S10 Health SafeCare Network and meet with a skin care specialist to keep your troubles from escalating.